Friday, November 27, 2009

Wreath Making, Part Deuce

I finally got around to making the second wreath of the season - one for my good friend Kristen. I dare say it looks better than the first! See for yourself:

Now off to eat some leftover pecan pie! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A day in the park

I've been pretty lazy this weekend, considering. (I say that, I did 5 loads of laundry and vacuumed, so I wasn't that lazy.) But still. All of the Christmas shopping I was hoping to get done this weekend flew right out the window. And it was a GREAT weekend. Lots of 'me' time, solitude, etc.

Anyway, so today I thought I'd get up off my lazy patoot and take the dog to the dog park. I mean, I could've stayed home with him and played fetch 15 bazillion times, but I thought Why Not?

I wasn't able to get any pictures of Gus while he was at the dog park, because I was chasing him around the whole time and trying to keep him out of the ONE mudhole (unsuccessfully, I might add). But I did stop to snap a pic of him after we got home.

I love what the dog park does to him!!!

He's been in his bed since we've been home, with no whining and no playing fetch a thousand times. Believe me people, wearing your dog out is so worth it.

Even if I did get peed on. By a dog that looked like this:

As sucky as that may sound, I am really glad I wasn't on the other end, i.e., the parents of that dog. I think that would have been more embarrassing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I need hobbies!!!!

Well, actually, I have found one or two. I'm getting into the Christmas spirit this year a little bit earlier than usual, and I'm feeling crafty. So I decided to make a Christmas wreath. As with my usual endeavors, I bought a ton of stuff and hoped that I'd follow through and actually use most of it - and it looks like I'm going to this time!

I started out with a wooden wreath, then bought some greenery to put on it. I did it this way because I wanted to be able to say I really made one from scratch. Then I bought about 20 little odds and ends to go on the wreath. (I had to buy that many because I didn't know where my creativity would take me...) ;-)

Anyway, I don't have a picture of the bare bones wooden wreath, because I wasn't sure I was going to document this little endeavor, but I do have the rest of the steps:

Step 1 - This was actually the hardest part, getting all of the garland (or whatever it's called) wrapped around and fastened to the wood.

Step 2:

Final product:

Now, since I've got so much stuff left over, I'm going to make one for some friends! And after that, it's on to homemade stockings! I love being creative. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good news

'Round here, it seems good news is typically accompanied by bad news. At least lately anyway.

My husband's job schedule has changed almost daily, it seems, since he left on October 19 to go to work on the rig. I've seen him once since then, and was sick with a stomach virus and fever for the 18 or so hours he was at home. He was supposed to, like, for sure come home this Saturday, but I found out today that that isn't going to happen either.

I don't know when he'll be home.

It's hard, but I am managing. We've done the 2-weeks-on, 2-weeks-off thing before, and I think this time around will be easier. I told him today that I think our relationship is being tested. I refuse to be tempted with anger and frustration, to be mad at him for something he cannot control, or to be crippled with sadness. I've been down that road before, and it's only like taking one step forward and two steps back.

This time is going to be different. We are strong people. We have a strong relationship. It will get better. We will endure.

This, too, shall pass.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tree, Round, Er, 347?

Because so many of you have been asking about my tree painting lately... I mean, in my head you've been asking about it... I've decided to post the final product.

Like any good artist (because I know exactly what that means!), I tweaked and tweaked and changed it up until I felt like it was juuuust right. For a grand effect, I will re-post the most recent before picture here:

And the after pic:

Dunh, dunh, dunh..... !

Let's face it, the tree without a trunk is just not that realistic.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No more playing fetch in the house!

It's official. I have nothing else to talk about other than my dog. Actually, it's a pretty embarrassing story. You see, sometimes, as parents - because let's face it, I consider myself one - we allow our children to do things that under normal circumstances we wouldn't let them do. It's just, I had a long day and well, I'm tired and I want to put my feet up and rest awhile. Sorry, buddy.

So I give a dog a ball.

We usually only play with balls outside when we're playing fetch; otherwise, they turn into pieces of balls, if you get my drift. But sometimes, it's worth the peace and quiet. That is, until said puppy comes to you with those big, brown, puppy-dog eyes and spits the ball out onto your lap. Then, you just have to play with him.


So, you pick up the ball and throw it across the floor a few times. Then you get brave and begin throwing it down the hallway. And you're thinking, "Great; it's a win-win. Dog gets exercised and I don't even have to get out of my chair! I'm so awesome!" Until.

The sconce with the candle that was once hanging on the wall...

Is now broken into pieces and beyond repair on the floor.

And the poor, innocent little puppy who just wanted someone to play ball with?

I think the picture says it all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Goofy things I've done - or shall I say haven't done - this week, starting with:

In an attempt to squirt ketchup from the bottle into the bowl directly in front of me where my uncooked dinner was being made, I did not tip the bottle to the side at the same time that I squeezed the bottle, causing ketchup to squirt out not only onto my shirt, but also right in between my toes. Because I am not lazy, I would never have allowed my dog to lick the ketchup off of my toes so that I did not have to risk getting my flip flops ketchupped while removing my feet to wipe them.

I did not attempt to mow our two-weeks-old-or-more grass at dusk, with the neighbors coming out of their houses wondering what kind of crazy person mows in the dark?! After finishing the front yard and starting on the back yard (it's by all means dark then), I most certainly did not quit during the first lap because I don't know how to put gas in the mower and it had died. On top of all that, when my husband returned home, he did not jokingly tell me that I can't mow worth a crap.

While paying bills, I did not write "9/30/02" on one of the checks only to realize 5 minutes later what I had written. Not only did I not absentmindedly write "02," but I also did not stare at the date and question why my "09" looked like an "02." I would never write a date seven years behind! I used to be a reporter, for crying out loud!

In a futile attempt to hang curtains, I most certainly did not drill... I mean, poke, more holes in the wall, all while not drilling the screws into the wall because it was too hard. After the futile attempt, in which I did not lose my temper, I also did not tear up for feeling so unempowered as to not be able to drill holes in the wall to hang curtains. Boy am I glad no one was home for that one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Growth spurt

The past couple of weeks have been pretty trying on my patience and my tolerance. Instead of getting mad - or, scratch that. Instead of letting myself stay mad, I am choosing to let go and focus on staying the course.

You see, this past week, I've been targeted and judged unfairly. In the recent past, when this has happened, I would get so infuriated that it was unhealthy. I couldn't think straight, I couldn't focus: All I could think about was this unfair treatment that infuriated me. I would be so mad that I was afraid of myself, not really in a bad way, but I just knew that this behavior wasn't healthy. This time, however, I am trying to see the instance as an opportunity for growth. An opportunity to work on something that I know I've been needing to work on anyway. And it still infuriates me. But I'm trying to teach myself how to be more tolerant and more patient. I think this is a real learning point for me right now... if I can just get through it! :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Daily grumblings and Not Me!

Sometimes, I just want to crawl into a little hole, just me and Mike, and just live. Nothing else. Because, by crawling into the little hole and just living, I would in effect be kicking out people, albeit mostly family, who have nothing better to do with their time than to judge me. Simply put, those who matter, matter. Those who don't, don't. And if you want to matter, stop judging. I don't have time to deal with things, like your judging, that don't matter. Or maybe it's just that I'm lazy, because it takes more energy to be mad, and because I don't like to be mad, so maybe I'm just being lazy by withdrawing myself from those who make me mad. So that I don't have to listen to you try to make me mad.

Anyway, enough of that. I wanted to try something that I've been thinking about for a while:

This morning as I was getting ready, I most certainly did not put on gray socks with brown pants, because I haven't done laundry yet. I would never mix black and brown tones together.

Yesterday, when helping watch my good friend's daughter, I did not bring over paints and a canvas and allow her to paint, and I most certainly did not rub blue paint out of her hair in the bath later.

When we ran out of sweet tea at the house, I most certainly did not take leftover fruit punch and mix it with leftover pineapple juice to drink instead because I was too lazy to just make another pot of tea. Nope, not me!

That's about all I can think of right now. Toodles!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tree, Round 2

So, as I thought this week on what the second phase of my artwork would be like, the color orange kept "coming to me," as they say. We finally went to Michael's last night and got some, because 'lo and behold, I didn't have that color. I took some time this morning to work on it, and here is what came to mind. I still don't have it exactly like I want it - which is to say that I don't know exactly how I want it just yet - so it's definitely not finished. I realized from my first draft that I didn't have a tree trunk (go figure that I would forget something like that!), so I added one into this one.

View my incomplete 2nd draft below, and feel free to make any changes to the poll for better or worse (though better, I hope)!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Artwork

I'm beginning to like this stuff! Below is the 1st phase of my 2nd painting. Not done but had to stop to let the first paints dry. Got any (easy) ideas for me to make? Send them my way! Got any ideas of what the title of this one should be? Go ahead and say it! And looky over to the left and take my poll while you're at it. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Work of ... Art?

So, as one of my recent posts suggested, I have been thinking about trying to paint something. The other night when I went to buy groceries, I stopped by the Arts & Crafts section and bought a canvas and some acrylic paint in my favorite colors. I had no idea what I was going to try to paint - I just wanted something to "come to me" (like all the good artists say ;-)). I finally decided to try it out today, since I am at home with no plans for the day except to read and sit on the couch. Here's what I got so far:

Work of art or not so much? You decide... Oh, and if anyone can explain how to get the pictures to upload under the text in order to minimize cutting & pasting, be sure to share.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sometimes, you just wanna...

I am full of love today. I want to get outside, paint a canvas, pretend to be artsy, learn to sew, play with babies - just give LOVE! Sadly, I am stuck at work, inside an office overlooking the metropolitan area, for 8 hours today. And sadly, I don't feel this LOVE-y enough. I think on my lunch break I will run to Michael's and buy some canvases and some paint, though. Lately I've had the urge to just paint something. I mean, it's pretty inexpensive artwork, if you think about it. But that's not why I want to do it. For being as conservative and uptight as I am, I sure do have liberal interests. I love to read, write and create things. Anything, really. The other night I made homemade peanut butter. My friends call me the "crafty one." I laugh at them, but I think it's true. I sometimes feel like I should have studied more art in college...

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. I had a great weekend with Mike while he was off work. We went shopping for a new dryer (woohoo! ;) ) and yesterday we went to the water park and got in touch with our inner teenagers again. Except we were wore out after like 2 hours and left. Life is tough when you get to be our age... :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Prayers Needed

I got to work this morning and opened up my computer, did my usual routine, and checked a friend's blog, and was hit like a ton of bricks. My friend Jodie and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for two years now. Luckily, with the help of in vitro, they were able to conceive twins. She gave birth to two boys earlier this week. They had known that one would be born with special needs, but did not fully know the extent of his disability. They were informed yesterday that little Eli would not have quality of life and were faced with a tough decision to remove him from life support. What a very difficult decision for a 25 year old mother to have to make. I can't imagine what her and her husband are going through, but I would ask that you pray for them during this journey. They are a very faithful couple, and they have been through several setbacks during their baby journey already, and I know that they will pull through this as well. Granted, I don't know how, but I know they will. I am just praying for this storm that they are going through to calm down, and for them to be able to enjoy their lives and have their dream of having a family. I love them dearly and this just breaks my heart.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Wedding

Well, I lied. I don't want to continue my previous post. I'm feeling better and not having bad dreams every other night, so I don't want to.

Instead, I want to talk about something fun! I haven't done a post-wedding blog, but let me just say it's likely because I have been trying to take it easy. I am so glad the wedding went well, and really glad that it's over with, because now it gives us reason to talk about things other than the wedding, which is nice for a change.

But back to the wedding, for now. Everything seemed to go off without a hitch. I think part of it was because I had just decided that I wasn't going to let the little things get to me anymore, but most of it was because I had really, really good bridesmaids. Even the night before the wedding when I told them I didn't care whether or not the arch had flowers on it or not, they went out of their way to go get some and decorate the arch the day of the wedding. I'll admit, it looked a lot better decorated than not. Everyone worked together really well, and even my parents, who sometimes can't stand each other, held it together for my sake, and my younger sister even helped out. Not to mention my cousins from Texas who came in early and were ROCK STARS at getting the food area set up and everything in order. I honestly didn't realize how much I needed them there, but I'm sure glad they were!

I've heard from more than one person who was there that I was the calmest bride they had ever seen. I took that as a compliment. I had always hoped I would not be a crazy bride. :-)

But when I look back at the 1,000+ pictures that were taken, the most common theme in all of them of me is that I was smiling. And not just cheesing for the camera, but really, honestly, full-on huge smiling. That's the part that I'll take away and cherish. I was and always have been so happy with Mike.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

That's just life...

For the past month or so, I've been going at things full-speed ahead. Ever since we got back from the honeymoon I've been in high gear, you could say. From making personal calls on the way to and from work, to checking my blackberry for new messages every 5 minutes, to having a shorter tolerance than usual. I don't like it when I get this way. Going from work to home, trying to give the proper attention to the "important" things in life (like having a clean house, keeping all of the laundry in check and maintaining an appropriately-attentioned dog), I'm starting to think that I've lost myself.

For instance, I used to be (and generally still am) a very tolerant person. Patience is not a strong point for me, but it's usually not a real weak one, either. But here lately, I've found that I have no patience for the little everyday annoyances in life: Being on an elevator with a handful of other people who get on just to go up or down one or two floors/Being in one of the 6 elevators my building has and stopping on every other floor to pick someone new up; being behind someone who is walking really slowly; waiting on maintenance people to come to my house, etc. You get the picture. I mean, sure, these are everyday things and they're not fun to deal with, but lately I've had less patience than normal.

It seems like I just can't make myself slow down lately. I feel like I have been running to keep up with something, although I might dare admit that I'm starting to wonder if it's something I've been running from instead.

Running from what? Well, I haven't quite figured that out yet, although I do have some ideas. This week has been tough at work and I'm finding myself bogged down with projects lately. Not to mention a little stressed and annoyed about traveling on yet again another of Mike's weekends off (which are rare) this weekend.

But it's also been quite a tough week personally, too. Every night this week, I've had a different bad dream. I usually don't think much of my dreams, but then again, I usually don't have bad ones this often. It's also been quite an emotional week: I'm cranky, I have a short fuse for minor annoyances, and some days I'm just depressed.

I know this is just life as it is some days. But I've been struggling this week.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Frog Legs for Breakfast?

I'll admit, I'm doing pretty good getting up on time on my post-honeymoon week back to work. This particular day, I got up around 7:15 a.m. Per my usual routine, I headed straight to the back door to let Gus out, who had already placed his little nose on the bed and given me the sad "Mommy-wake-up" puppy dog eyes.

But I got an awful surprise when I opened the door. There, to the right side of our patio, laid a poor little frog turned upside down on his back. I thought he was dead, until Gus nosed up to him to check him out, and I saw his little arms moving trying to turn himself back over. When I bent down to get a closer look, I noticed that he didn't have any back legs! Something had bitten the poor guy's legs off! I couldn't just leave him there to die, so I decided the right thing to do was to put him out of his misery, which I did.

The more unnerving question to me now is, what animal would eat frog legs? Mike said either a cat or a snake, which is very scary because some of our neighbors have killed several poisonous snakes over the past couple of weeks. Eeek! I hate snakes!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bachelorette Bliss

Today was the best day. My closest friends picked me up this morning, took me to Hot Springs and we all enjoyed a Spa Day. We got massages, facials, and a foot detox. Then we had a private yoga & meditation session. It was soooo nice. Exactly what I needed. But that was only Phase 1. When we got back from Hot Springs, my friends blindfolded me and took me to “Phase 2,” which I had no idea and for the life of me couldn't figure out what else they had planned. Once they were sure I was lost, they led me into the doorway of my house, which they had decorated while I was gone and set up a table of fruits, dips, chips, etc., complete with a penis shaped cake (which provided jokes for some of the night). It was absolutely the best. It was much more laid back than a bar-party, and so much nicer. It was exactly what I needed! (Oh, and did I mention Petey? The inflatable, smiling penis hanging from my chandelier? Yeah, Petey provided the other jokes for the evening!) It was absolutely fabulous and I could not have asked for a better time. :)

Tonight, as I lay in bed thinking about all of this - reflecting, if you will - I realized something that I totally did not think about before. I'm actually thankful for the drama surrounding our wedding and for the disappointments that we've faced. Why? Well, I've realized that I have become more and more sure of myself and our relationship over the past few months. I've always known Mikey was the right one for me, but here lately, as our relationship has been tested these past couple of months, I am absolutely sure. In a way, I think it's made us stronger as a couple. Yet it's also made me realize that the wedding of my dreams is not a big, elaborate ordeal; it's being able to say that I am married to the one I love. It's not about whether we have a sit-down dinner or a cake-and-punch reception. I'd marry him tomorrow even if nobody showed up. And I realize now that that is the most important thing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good Things Post

Writing. It's a form of expression. For me, it's a way that I can escape from the world and delve into my own feelings and my own soul. It's a way that I can release things like anger, sadness, anxiety, etc.

Right now I want to write about some things that I should really be talking about. My stomach is in knots. Has been for the past week. A lot of stuff going on with family, friends, etc. I just halfway don't want to deal with it all. The other half of me is trying not to stress about the little things, something I'm working on in my relationship with my soon-to-be husband. Only I didn't expect it to be this hard.

I just want to crawl in a little hole and stay there for the next week or two. Just everything that has been going on has really gotten me stressed out, angry, and really depressed. I used to think that I was depressed. Now I know how it feels. But maybe I should focus on the good things in life:

a. I have a good job. One that doesn't stress me out and make me crazy. That's a plus.
b. I have a great relationship with Mike. Now that we're 15 days from the Big Day, or better yet, 15 days from the beginning of the rest of our lives. I like how that sounds better. Wedding shmedding.
c. I have wonderful friends.
d. I/We have been lucky enough to meet a very nice and non-intimidating Person within the Church with whom we have met a couple of times about marriage preparation. I'm thankful for the marriage preparation.
e. I got to drive a really cool Avalanche today because my Little Honda appeared to have a low tire. And who needs that? ;-) Mikey doesn't mind.

Funny enough, focusing on the good in a not-so-great situation really does help.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Life's a Journey

I find myself sometimes looking down at my pretty Journey necklace that Mike got me on our first Christmas together, and wondering where we are in the journey. There are seven diamonds on this necklace, and I've often categorized what each one of them means. I think we might be at diamond #4.

I imagine the first diamond means the day that we met, when we didn't know each other that long. Maybe we had just decided to start dating. The second and third diamonds, I think, represent how our relationship has grown, with the third one ending at the night Mike proposed to me in the living room of our not-yet-fully-purchased first home.

And so I'm guessing that the fourth diamond stands for marriage. Maybe the fifth one stands for children, the sixth for our middle-aged lives raising our children and seeing them grown. The seventh, for sure, is for being grandparents :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Friends = Lucky Me

Lately I've been finding myself thinking a lot about family and friends and their roles in my life, and I'm learning some harsh truths about the world that I wish I didn't have to learn. Sometimes, family lets you down. I guess that's why God gave us friends.

I have been really stressed out planning this wedding - if you're one of the 2 people who read my blog then you know that already. So it goes without saying that this is one of the times when I need people in my life. I'm finding out who those people really are and, while some of them are ones who I knew were important, I'm learning that others without that familial bond hold an equally important place for me.

There are a few of my friends who I really didn't realize just how much they do for me. It's hard to put into words what I am thinking, but know that I consider these girls my family because they have done so much more (in some instances) than my real family has. I'm not sure if that's how it's supposed to be or not, but either way I feel lucky because I feel like I was born with some family members but have inherited a few others.

It's also hard to talk about the family members who I kind of feel shortchanged by. I don't know if it's supposed to be like this or if I really do just have out-of-touch people in my family. Granted, most of them would help me if I wasn't so damn stubborn as to not ask. But then, should I have to ask? I don't have to ask my friends... They see a need and they fill it, or if they can't, they are there to help me know things will get better.

I say this and even as I type I feel a sting of regret for typing these words. I'm not saying that my family just doesn't care or are too wrapped up in themselves - sure, that's the case for some, but not nearly all. But what I'm saying is that I guess I'm just surprised that when I have needed support, it has come from people who haven't known me all my life, people who don't have an instinctive obligation to love me. I feel lucky.

I'm also wondering if this is what it really is supposed to be like when you're an adult. I know that when you get married, you leave your family and start your own. But I'm kind of wondering if that doesn't happen at least somewhat on a smaller level too, because I think I'm finding family in places that I didn't realize were there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wedding planning .... woo hoo.

We are about 2 and a half months out from our wedding date, and I am finally realizing the meaning of "Bridezilla." I'm cranky, I'm stressed out, and I'm tired of planning. I get aggravated more easily and lately seem to have no patience for people, including those most important to me, in addition to those I work with. I swear, if I make it past this wedding without getting fired or dumped, I'll be happy.

I never wanted to be a Bridezilla. I never thought I would be, although that little Curious Kitty in the back of my mind always wondered why people got so Bridezilla-ey. Oh, how I was so unsuspecting!

Throughout this whole process, I've been keeping with the Practical Stacy Tradition and trying to remember that it's not really about the big day, it's about what comes after that's important. Hence, the reason that I don't want to spend the average $10,000 on things that I don't need and that don't really follow the aforementioned tradition. I want my wedding day to be a laid-back celebration with family and friends, similar to a nice, fun, backyard get-together that I would have at home. I still want that. I don't regret cutting costs where I have, and I think because of that, our wedding will resemble our own unique characteristics and personalities.

One thing I would do differently, however, is invitations. Even if it means charging it to a credit card. I chose to make our own invitations instead of having them done, and I'm realizing that it's more of a headache than it's worth the money I saved (if I even saved any). Seriously, the past two weeks we have been working on wedding invitations, and I'm to the point that I want to take a baseball bat to my printer. For real. (Don't ever buy an HP printer.)

Anyway, back to the subject... I have always wanted to be able to look forward to my wedding day with excitement, joy, and love; and for the most part, I think I will. But I never, ever want to go through this again, and the honeymoon can't come soon enough!

Monday, January 12, 2009

We have a date!

It's official. We are getting married on June 6, 2009! My bridesmaids and I went to the ceremony/reception site to check it out yesterday and it is just like the pictures showed - beautiful! I am so excited I can hardly wait until June!

About that wedding planner... Well, ever since I bought my dress and have moved forward with the planning, it seems to be getting easier. I really think I can pull it off now. I just have to remember to prioritize and not worry about the little details.

I am so excited!! I am getting married! Yay!!! :)